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Developing Clusters Local schools combining for enrichment immersion
School Clusters: What are they? • A group of schools joining together to provide the gifted with learning experiences which match, as closely as possible, interest and ability.
Rationale • To provide varied and valuable learning experiences for our ‘g & t’ within and across the intelligence domains which challenge and motivate a group of ‘likeminded’ students.
A Model: Boroondara Secondary Schools Gifted Cluster (7-10) • 15 local secondary schools. • Government, Catholic, Independent. • Single sex, co-educational schools. • Years 7 -10. • Half day and whole day immersion. • Teacher interest based: across all curriculum areas. • School offering a unit controls every aspect of the unit.
Offering A Unit • Standard proforma (see information pack). • School offering mandates: the numbers, cost, other requisites, venue, activities, times. • Schools applying for places accept the host school’s conditions, organises transport to and from, staffing (if needed), other requisites. • Visiting schools identify students according to unit presented and type of students requested by host school.
Getting Started # 1 • Call a meeting of interested local schools. • Be inclusive of all schools in your area with year levels appropriate to cluster. • Choose a convenor. • Meet once a term at the outset (could be reduced later). • Like each other: be friendly/positive
Getting Started # 2 • Get school ‘movers and shakers’ on board • Aim to offer one unit at your school per year (run by you initially?). • Therefore, 6 schools = 6 units minimum per year across subject domains. • Offer constructive feedback • Meet and discuss at next scheduled cluster meeting.
Advantages • Inexpensive • Economy of effort for delivery of an excellent product for g & t • Networking • Meeting of minds and passions • Experience different educational settings • Breaking down petty barriers between schools • Expertise at schools well utilized.
Possible Pitfalls • School Jealousies: “The Numbers Game” • Paperwork (adopt KISS principle) • Time to organise (especially convenor) • Unit appropriateness • Inappropriate identification of g & t • Cluster gets too large • Transportation on the day • Medical/Health information
Boroondara Cluster 2010 • Camberwell High School • PLC • Camberwell Boys’ Grammar School • Ruyton Girls’ School • Methodist Ladies’ College • Kew High School • Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School • Siena College • Fintona Girls’ School • Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School • Scotch College • Bialik • Genezzano FCJ